1. Number one on my list this week is a really good article that was sent to ITRTs by Jean Weller, our "boss" on the state level. Adults complain often that the computer is making books obsolete and that it is not teaching students to read. But what is the truth? Check out this article on the matter.
2. STEAM Idea for the Week -Flexagon
This would be a wonderful morning "art-tivity" or a great one to use with math. Have your students make Flexagons. Flexagons, originally created in 1939, are flat models, usually constructed by folding strips of paper, that can be flexed or folded in certain ways to reveal faces besides the two that were originally on the back and front. Here is a site that explains how to make one and provides a template for you to print out for use. They were originally created by Princeton graduate student Arthur Stone and became a huge fad when Martin Gardner published them in The Scientific American years later.
3. I posted this last year but I love this idea so I felt it was worth reposting. I loved it when the teacher put a smilie face or a sticker on my paper. Here is the article which explains how to do this digitally. You can create stickers and "put a sticker" on your student's Google Doc. Please let me know if you need help.
4. This week's resource was created by Gail Moore. She called it a Homework menu but this could be adapted to use with any content and subject. To get your own copy, please click on the image and then go to FILE->MAKE A COPY.
5. Friday at the Movies-This is Dash, our new friend who is on his way.
Happy Friday and (yay!) it's also PAYDAY! I don't know about you but August has felt long!
1. Read Write Think is an old site but from time to time it's nice to pull these old sites out, dust them off and put them out for use. This site is is one of my favorites! It can be utilized on a desktop or they have apps like Alphabet Organizer, Trading Cards, and Timeline which will work on tablets as well.
2. STEM/ STEAM Bins
Would you like to give your students something that will engage their critical thinking and creativity during those times when you need an anchor activity or even during those inside recess days? You may want to start putting together some STEM/STEAM Bins. I have some I can show you in each of my schools. STEM Bins are plastic school boxes filled with an engineering manipulative of your choice, such as Legos, pattern blocks, base ten blocks, unifix cubes, toothpicks and playdough, or popsicle sticks with velcro on the ends. On of the students' favorite challenges is the red dixie cup challenge. I found the cutest little red cups at Food Lion! Ok, I know they are supposed to be disposable shot glasses but the kids don't know that. One student saw them and ask me how I shrunk the cups. LOL!! The idea behind STEAM Bins is that the students take a box along with a picture you give them. You can have several pictures on a plastic key ring. Make the pictures simple. Hint: Look through old teaching materials and grab some of those CVC or alphabet pictures to use. The students have to use the materials in the box to build the picture.
3. Hyperdoc ideas for the Daily 5
Here is a resource for teachers to use with Daily 5 and Chromebooks. This was shared with me by a fellow ITRT. It has some great ideas for taking your daily 5 into the Tech Zone. Click the image to open the hyperdoc.
4. Last year Google for Education introduced, “Tuesday Tips,” a weekly spotlight on Google for Education tools. Google is sharing tips to help educations with all of your favorite Google Tools. These tips are released every Tuesday, and they come in the form of a published Google Slide Deck. They have released tips for Google Expeditions, Google Forms, and Google Classroom. To check it out, click on the image.
5. Friday at the Movies - In honor of Payday
Welcome back! I am so excited to start this year. We have survived a full week. Congratulations to us!! This is my first 5 on Friday blog. It may be light!
1. Elementary Teacher Google Plus Page
Last year Gail and I got permission to start a Google+ page called ACPS Elementary Teachers. When we find links or create resources we will be posting them to this page. We are hoping you join and post as well. I will be coming door to door next week to show you how to sign up or you can click the following link. https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/106544968765854857824
Please note that this can only be viewed by those that have an Amherst email address. Once you join, you can see it if you are signed in using your work address.
2. STEAM idea: Paper Building Blocks
This year I plan to include a weekly STEAM idea that you can do in your classroom without losing instructional time. This week is all about paper building blocks. The original idea came from a website called 50+ Genius STEM Ideas.
Materials Needed: colored cardstock, scissors, tape/glue, scissors or paper cutter, ruler
Step 1: Cut strips from the cardstock. It works best if your strips are 1 inch wide and 3- 6 inches long. How many? I would start with at least 3-5 per student. Older students may be able to cut their own.
Step 2: Fold the strip into thirds or as I like to tell the students, burrito style.
Step 3: Unfold the strip and tape it so that it makes a triangle.
Step 4: Put these strips along with some glue or tape in a center and invite your students to use these to create structures or sculptures. You can add more strips when needed if you run low.
3. Google Resource
Here is a resource you can use to introduce your students to Google Apps. This one is done in Google Slides. Click on the image to get your copy. This idea can be altered to gather information on content subjects as well. Let me know if you would like me to show you how to create an assignment like this.
Google Tip: Email Signatures
I have gotten several emails already asking me how to create or edit an email signature in G-Mail. I admit this is one of those skills that is easy to forget since you don't do it often. Fortunately, G-Mail's help center has step by step directions. If you still need help please send me an email to schedule a time for the next day I am in your building.
5. Friday at the Movies- Love Gerry Brooks!
1. This will be my last Five on Friday blog on the year. Next week is Spring Break. The week following Spring Break I will be attending a conference on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Then we only have two more weeks after that in April. Last year I waited until the end of April but this year I am giving myself permission to do so earlier. Gail and I will still be sharing resources through the Google+ Community. If you have not joined yer, please do so! If you have joined, feel free to share resources and links yourself to the community. If you have been meaning to join the community but forgot how, just click here.
2. I just discovered Knoword! This is a free site that you can log in with your Google credentials and create your own packs using your own vocabulary words. Can you solve my pack on the engineering design process? You can connect your Google Classroom account to Knoword and assign packs to students as course work. Pretty cool, right?
3. This Google slide task was shared by ITRT, Obe Hosteller. This is an excellent addition to your geometry unit or you could have students create a robot and then write descriptive paragraphs about their bot. To use this template, click on the image on the left. When it open, it will ask you to make a copy.
4. This is a site that Gail shared in the Google+ Community that I felt would be helpful to everyone as they are reviewing and preparing for the test season.
5. Friday at the Movies- One of my favorite groups. Absolutely no instruments. Every sound is done by a member of the group. That's engineering!
1. I was commenting last week that I am turning to Facebook more and more for my own professional development. When I was at the Google Summit with the ITRTs, one of the presenters told us about a Facebook group where folks make and share hyperdoc resources. Here is a resource I found on that page. Dozens of hyperdocs for every grade and subject area all organized in a LiveBinder. Way cool! Let me know if you need help in making these your own. What is a hyperdoc? A hyperdoc is an instructional means of organizing the assignments for your unit of study so that your students can work through them. Check it out.
2. Check out WatchKnowLearn. This is a directory of over 50,000 free educational video links that are organized by subject matter. Not only do you have access to videos in their collection but you can also upload your own videos on a subject matter.
3. Here is a SUPER tip I learned about Google Classroom! Have you ever noticed the 3 dots in the top right corner of your posted Google assignment in Classroom?
If you click on those three dots you will see an option to copy link. This will copy the link for that post only!! Why would you ever need to do this? You could post the link on your website for homework and when the students log in, they will be taken to that post directly. Or you could post the link to that post in your ABOUT section so that students would have resources from that post easily accessible. How about using Google Forms for an assessment and then posting the link to an assignment they can work on after the assessment is completed. You could email parents the link so that they could help the student complete a missing assignment. Maybe you could link it on a hyperdoc.
4. We have all heard about how next year we will be expected to pair reading: fiction and non-fiction. Here is a great Chrome extension that removes clutter and ads from a web page so that you can post it into your Google Classroom for students to access.
5. Friday At the Movies - Sketchnoting - Have you heard about these? Research says that by combining doodles with information, our minds remember the information much easier. Learn even more here.
1. Here is a tip I picked up at the Google Summit this weekend. Have you ever had a Google document that you wanted displayed full screen for students?
2. I absolutely LOVE Flipgrid and if I were a classroom teacher with a set of Chromebooks, this is a site that I would be using all the time! With Flipgrid, the teacher creates an assignment or "grid" and students respond to a prompt. Try it! Here is a grid that I would love you to respond to. Why did you decide to become an educator? The free account allows you to create one grid. For $65 a year, you can create unlimited grids. I am seriously thinking about upgrading. Why not combine with a couple of teachers in your grade level and split the cost of the account? Even at $65 it isn't a bad deal.
3. Here is a resource I got from the Summit. This is a great project idea! Have the students create a "playlist" for learning. In this project, the student researches a topic and then creates a hyperdoc to teach classmates about their topic. I love this idea!!! I would be willing to work with you to do this in your classroom. Click the image and then go to File-Make A Copy to have an editable version you can post in your Google Classroom. This takes flipping a classroom to a whole new level. Make your students the teachers!
4. I sent this file out last weekend but wanted to post this here as well. This file is full of templates you can use to create TEI questions using Google Slides. To get to the templates, click the image and then File->Make A Copy.
5. Friday at the Movies - Seagulls (Stop it Now)
This was shared with us at the conference. Just wanted to make you smile!
1. This is a very cool game that teaches logic and problem solving. This would be best played by students in grades 3-5. Students are to move numbered tiles around the board to double them until they create a tile with 2048. I have not yet been able to make this tile myself. I can get lost in this game!
2. Trap the leprechaun is another logic game that the older students really love. You have to be careful though as this site has ads. Don't let it scare you though, it is a good opportunity to teach and internet safety lesson!
3. Here is a Google Doc I have created for you. Students can create a Help Wanted poster for a character in a book. To use the document, click on the image and then File->Make A Copy.
4. Here is another document you can use. Google Slides includes the same drawing tools as does Google Draw. Have the students create snapshots of various scenes in their book. To use, click on the image and then File->Make A Copy.
Friday at the Movies- I wonder, how many of us are truly extroverted introverts?
1. Recently, I was asked if I knew of any new math game sites. You need to try Arcademic Skill Builders. On this site students create an online name, which, BTW, gives you a perfect opportunity to teach internet safety skills. Once they have their name they can begin the game. They will find themselves competing with other students also playing the game. This is the driving motivator! The students love the competition!
2. Mission US is a FABULOUS interactive game from PBS that supports US history instruction. Your students love selecting a time period and taking on the role of someone in that period.
3. February is Black History Month so why not allow your students to experience the rich culture of African Americans? Not sure where to start? Google's Cultural Institute is highlighting Black History this month. Check it out here!
4. There is a brand new library of Hyperdocs that has just been created by "The Hyperdoc Girls". What is a hyperdoc? A hyperdoc is a digital document, usually created with one of the Google Apps, which has links for students to follow to find out information or to a site or another document where the student will create a presentation to showcase what they have learned. Think webquest but easier to create. This link is to one that highlights Black History. If you would be interested in creating your own hyperdoc, please check with your ITRT.
5. Friday At The Movies- The Dangers of a Single Story
This is a little long but beautiful.
1. Imagine an online museum-oriented portal for learning on every subject you can imagine, from STEM-based activities to language and economics and more. That’s the Exploratorium! This is one of my all time favs!
2. eGFI is a quirky interactive website that will draw you in after the very first click. Great for site for a center, this is a great place for students to explore many STEAM based careers and one that you will want to bookmark since it is science project time!
3. Here is a template you can use to allow students to create their own jigsaw puzzles. Please see me if you want to use this. It is pretty simple once you know how. Then it will be a project you return to time and time again. To download the template, click on the image and once it opens, go to File->Make A Copy.
4. This next resource is a folder containing the documents that will allow you or your students to create a board game. The directions are in the folder. To use the resources, you will need to click on the image on the left to open the folder. Then open each file individually. You will need to then File-> Make A Copy. Please let your ITRT know if you need help.
5. Friday at the Movies - This is a "homework assignment." Watch the video below, then go to http://montagueworkshop.com/because. You are to download the template, fill it out, and then post it on your social media sites. I love this idea!
1. We are Teachers has 3 fantastic virtual field trips! Check out this site and let your students explore Africa, China, or the Coral Reefs!
2. For some really class-oriented games try play2train.com. Practice math and become sharp using these brand new activities for all ages 8 and up. Your students will love these mental workouts!
3. I am in love with this site! Are you looking for ways to incorporate more STEM into your science? Check out this library of FREE lesson plans. Engineering Adventures is a FREE curriculum created especially for kids in grades 3–5.
4. The resource this week is a Scrabble Game done in Google Slides. I love Scrabble! Click on the image to start downloading the resource. Then go to File->Make a Copy to have a copy that you can upload to Google Classroom.
5. Friday At The Movies - Algo-Rithm
Hi, my name is Melanie Lewis. I am an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher for Amherst County Public Schools, located in the beautiful state of Virginia. I LOVE my job! I get to work on my hobby, anything that has to do with computers. I get to work with teachers and students, and I am definitely a people person. Plus, I DO NOT have to give grades. Wonderful, huh? Let me know how I can help you better integrate technology into your classroom.
ACPS' 1st computers
I know only one thing about the technology that awaits us in the future: We will find ways to tell stories with it. ~Jason Ohler